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PCSO: Man arrested after having sexual contact with a teen, spent 107 days in desert on the run

David Whitaker.jpg
Posted at 8:57 PM, Mar 18, 2021

A man has been arrested Monday on sexual offense charges involving a teen and then evading arrest by spending 107 days in the desert.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputies say 42-year-old David Whitaker allegedly had sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl on November 28, 2020. Officials say the victim later told detectives the abuse was ongoing.

Whitaker left his home and headed into the desert armed with a handgun as PCSO deputies and DPS officials began their search for him.

PCSO says they combed the desert and conducted surveillance operations to try and locate Whitaker. Officials say Whitaker is a known "survivalist" and it was highly probable that he would have success living off the grid.

David Whitaker.png

A DPS Detective received information on the area where the suspect might be located.

When they located Whitaker they established a perimeter around him using a fixed-wing plane overhead and were able to arrest him on March 15.

Whitaker was found living in a shack he made in the desert. He survived the 107 days by hunting javelina and rabbit and catching fish out of a canal.